Overview of Available Online Project Management Degrees
Knowledge areas covered by bachelor’s programs include organizational leadership, project risk management, contracts and procurement, project performance and quality assurance, and project scheduling and cost. programs usually have a capstone project requirement aimed at enhancing the students’ practical knowledge in the field.
The degree curriculum covers several key knowledge areas, including project management processes; assessing and mitigating risk; project planning, execution, and closure; schedule and cost control techniques; and contracting and procurement in project management. A capstone project is a typical requirement in master’s programs.
PM degree programs explore theoretical underpinnings in project management at a far deeper level than other academic programs. The doctoral curriculum covers areas such as advanced project management methodologies, advanced risk management systems, and contemporary leadership theories and practices. Programs incorporate many opportunities for research, which enables students to improve their PM practices. Doctorate students are also required to take a comprehensive exam and complete a dissertation.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Project Management
The project management bachelor's combines general business skills with the particular leadership strategies for bringing complex projects to completion. This is a four-year degree, requiring about 120 credit hours of coursework. A high school diploma or GED is the typical minimum requirement for admission; some programs require additional applications materials, such as a resume, personal statement, or standardized test scores.
PM students learn how to navigate many aspects of business to see a project through from beginning to end. Common project management courses discuss the role of the project manager, strategic goal setting, portfolio management, procurement and contracts, and budgeting. Many PM programs are offered as business degrees with a project management focus, and students also take more general business classes such as leadership, decision making, marketing, and accounting.
Most PM bachelor's programs require a capstone course or a project-based class. In this course, students manage a mock project from beginning to end, developing the project's goals, setting a timeline, assigning teams, creating a budget, and procuring contracts.
Most people who graduate with a bachelor's degree in project management generally begin by working within a business, government agency, or other organizations as a manager or administrator taking on small projects. Project management is a very experience-based profession, and it is unlikely that graduates will be assigned to larger projects until they have gained some professional experience. Lower-level management, information technology, accounting, and human resources positions are good jumping-off points for PM bachelor's graduates. After gaining experience, professionals can advance to take on more projects, or they may set out as consultants, assisting businesses and clients with particular projects.
Online Master's Degrees in Project Management
The master’s project management degree online is a focused business program that discusses the particular skill set for starting, maintaining, and finishing large projects within an organization. Most of these two-year degrees require that applicants have some formal or informal management experience, along with an undergraduate degree. Individuals in an accredited master's program can use their coursework toward the 4, 500 hours of project management experience required to sit for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam.
The coursework in the PM degree combines traditional management topics with project-specific issues. For example, a course in project planning and estimating discusses setting project goals and creating a budget. Project procurement courses discuss obtaining the necessary contracts and materials for a project and managing costs. Other common core classes discuss project risk management, quality management, financial methods, and quantitative management. Many programs also require a capstone course, where students plan and control a mock project.